SBD/Issue 100/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Knicks Offering Discounts To Attract Fans
During Tough Economic Climate
In New York, Mike Dougherty noted the Knicks are "courting the coupon clippers with free hot dogs and souvenir hats." MSG Sports President Scott O'Neil said, "The business of team sports is not easy, but it's simple. We sell tickets. We sell marketing partnerships. We sell suites." Meanwhile, Dougherty wrote since the Mets and Yankees have new ballparks opening this spring, they "do not have to hustle as much to sell the cheap seats." Mets Exec VP/Business Operations Dave Howard said the new stadium is an "enormous plus for us." Howard: "We're seeing it in our sales to date. Season tickets are ahead of where we were last year." Dougherty also noted the NHL is "still a hot ticket" in N.Y., as the NHL Rangers "have sold out 153 straight games" at MSG (Westchester JOURNAL NEWS, 2/10).

PRICE WATCH: In Green Bay, Mike Vandermause notes Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy and the team's exec committee are "considering raising ticket prices this year." But with the economy "in shambles and the Packers coming off their worst one-season victory drop-off in team history, the last thing beleaguered fans need is more bad news." The Packers "have an opportunity to send millions of dollars worth of goodwill and good wishes into the community" by not raising ticket prices (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 2/11).

PAYMENT PLAN: The Vikings will begin offering season-ticket holders a noncredit-based payment option via eLayawaySports. The Saints are the only other NFL team to offer the plan (Vikings). In Minneapolis, Judd Zulgad reports the new payment plan "will enable purchases to be paid directly from bank accounts via a customized payment plan that can stretch into late July." There is a 1.9% transaction fee (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/11).

STAFF REDUCTION: In Cincinnati, John Fay reports the Reds have "slightly reduced their front office staff as a result of the economic downturn." Layoffs were "in the single digits." Reds Senior VP/Business Operations Karen Forgus "emphasized that the club's baseball operations had not been affected" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 2/11).

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